Leadership group helps Red Bank students dress for success - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Leadership group helps Red Bank students dress for success

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- One of the 2010-2011 Leadership Chattanooga teams needs the community's help to stock a dress code clothing closet at Red Bank Middle School.

There are eight members on the Leadership Chattanooga "Dress for Ed" Team: Suzanne Bidek, Tony Brown, Eli Cameron, Tracey Carisch, Jamey Dye, Kate Gilbert, Kara Serrano and Scottie Goodman Summerlin. They are eight of 39 members of the Leadership Chattanooga 2010-2011 class, a program of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. As part of the program, the class is broken up into five teams. Each team has to complete a project of their choosing by the end of April 2011.

The "Dress for Ed" team wanted to do a project that would help Hamilton County public schools. They sent an e-mail to all the principals in the county and asked the principals to let the team know about needs in their schools that would meet our project parameters.

One e-mail really stood out to the "Dress for Ed" team; a way they could help that addresses one of the basic human needs of food, shelter and clothing. That's why the team would like to ask for the community's assistance to help Red Bank Middle School stock a dress code clothing closet.

Red Bank Middle School has a new principal this school year, Stacy Stewart. Stewart's goal is to require all students to wear solid color collared golf shirts and khaki, blue or black pants. She says a dress code not only creates a more studious environment, it also addresses a serious safety concern. Stewart says since Red Bank Middle School's building is so old, there are 20 unsecured doors.  She says the only way to keep these doors locked are to chain them and the school can only do that at night. If all the students at Red Bank Middle are wearing dress code clothes, visitors at the school will stand out.

A student who comes to school not wearing the required dress code clothes is allowed to call home, but if a caregiver cannot bring dress code clothes to school, the student is sent to in school suspension. Stewart says this happens to about one student a day. But Stewart does not think her students are being defiant. She says 77% of students at Red Bank Middle School receive free or reduced lunch, which means her student body is a needy population. Stewart says most of her students only own a few dress code clothing items, and if they outgrow, soil or lose them, she says their parents may not be able to afford to replace the dress code clothes.

Stewart would like to have a dress code closet at Red Bank Middle School, so when students come to school out of compliance, they don't have to go to in school suspension. They can go to the dress code closet, pick out something that fits, and go to class. Students can keep the clothes, or return them if they choose.

There are 605 students at Red Bank Middle School. They range in age from 11 to 15, so a variety of sizes are needed for pre-teen and teen girls and boys. Again Red Bank Middle School's dress code will require khaki, blue or black pants and solid color collared golf shirts.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the school, and clothes can be dropped off at the school office. Checks can be made out to Red Bank Middle School - Student Aid Account. The school's address is 3715 Dayton Boulevard, Red Bank, TN, 37415.

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